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tv   The FOX Report With Shepard Smith  FOX News  January 24, 2012 4:00pm-5:00pm PST

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photographers and reporters are starting to post up. special coverage begins just before 9:00 p.m. we will be right here with the president's address and the republic response from indiana governor mitch daniels. it will, of course, be fair, balanced, and unafraid. captions by closed captioning services >> shepard: last-minute preparations for the state of the union underway and now we know exactly what the president will say about republics, hence-after all the pressure, mitt romney releases some of his returns. >> there was so much interest to this it kind of surprised us. >> shepard: tonight, we will look at how he made his money and how much the government really got. plus, new reaction after newt gingrich releases his contract
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with freddie mac. >> i did no lobbying of any kind. >> shepard: now we will see what haze paperwork actually proves and whether either candidate did enough to quiet the critics. everybody enjoys getting a bargain on a plane ticket. but now those published prices for air fares are about to shoot into the stratosphere. we will show you why. plus, women and children first. unless there are rich people around. tonight, accusations that crew members on that crippled cruise ship actually sold life boat seats to wealthy passengers. first from fox this tuesday night, we are live from the russell rotunda on capitol hill where president obama is getting ready to deliver his third state of the union message it is a requirement spelled out in article 2 section 3 of our constitution and it reads, in part: that the president shall from time to time give to the congress information on the state of the union. and recommend to their consideration such measures as
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he shall judge necessary and excellent. had one of my writers written that he or she would have been fired but made sense then. 200 years after founders wrote those words president obama will follow in the footsteps of his predecessors. he will climb to the second level of the dase. he is told to focus heavily on our economy tonight as the nation tries to recover from money troubles. senate minority lead mitch mcconnell says the goal of the speech is not to conquer the nation's problems, it's to conquer republicans. we have more on what we expect to hear from the president in just a few moments. but, first to the republics who would like to take the president's job. the former massachusetts governor mitt romney delivered a so-called prebuttle to the president's state of the union address today. >> this president has run out of ideas. this president has run out of excuses. in 2012, we got to make sure
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he is run out of the office of the white house. >> shepard: mitt romney's latest attack on president obama as he tries to diffuse criticism over taxes. earlier today the romney campaign released more than 500 pages of tax documents from 2010 and 2011. according to the 2010 returns, the former massachusetts governor and his wife took in nearly $22 million. of that, they paid more than 3 million to the irs. then the couple gave nearly the same amount to charitable contributions, most of it to the mormon church. the documents also showed mitt romney has had investment accounts in places like luxenburg and bermuda and now closed account in switzerland. carl cammeron with the news live in tampa tonight where both mitt romney and newt gingrich held events today. carl, now that that tax return thing is out, what's mitt romney saying about it? >> well, that he probably should have done it a long time ago. there is little doubt that the way he handled it showing obvious reluctance to release the information and stammering through questions tripped him
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up quite a bit. i had a chance to talk to him today. he is very much on offense trying to knock down newt gingrich but he does have this one lingering issue. so he put out his tax returns this evening. there was a lengthy teleconference with reporters firing questions at him all morning. i asked him why did it take so long and here was his response. >> i think we made a mistake by waiting to put up the tax returns. we should have put them out back in south carolina. we came up with the idea of bringing forward the estimate for 2011. that means we could do it all at once. and there was so much interest to this, it kind of surprised us. >> kind of surprised him indeed. and became a huge distraction. with that one issue out of the way, now romney hopes some of his criticisms of newt gingrich will be less filtered by it, shep? >> shepard: speaking of newt gingrich it's my understanding you spoke with him today and he has now released his freddie mac documents. that's been one of great interest around here. >> that's right. he did. the documents themselves from a 2006 contract with freddie
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mac make no mention of his being a lobbyist. it was for consulting. gingrich has argued all throughout this despite claims by mitt romney that he was influence peddler. he reiterated that is not the case and mitt romney has got his facts wrong in an to mislead, listen. >> when you have the amount of the money romney has he will spend 13 or 15 or $18 million here. that's a massive amount of money. so i need to have people, which is why i'm thrilled to be here in the rally with literally 3,000 plus people. >> wasn't quite 3,000 people it was more like a thousand or even a little built less than that. gingrich believes that the attempts on his candidacy by mitt romney's the super pack that supports mitt romney and the criticism and attack ads that mitt romney has launched won't make a difference because of the momentum that mr. gingrich has from south carolina and clearly carried here into florida. shep? >> shepard: carl cammeron life tonight in tampa.
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a little less than two hours to go until the president delivers the annual state of the union address. this year's speech drawing even more attention because as we all know by now it's an election year. the president is expected to focus and heavily on our economy with what reportedly will be particular emphasis on income and tax quality. the white house has provided excerpts from the speech already. we're told the president will say, quote: we can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well while a growing number of americans barely get by or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot. everyone does their fair share and everyone plays by the same set of rules. despite the three grammatical errors there, pushing for higher taxes and tonight's address will be essentially a campaign boehner. to a certain degree of course it is. it always is in an election year. the president will head out to a bunch of battleground states after the speech and convince
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voters he has earned four more years in the white house. our main man at the white house is ed henry and he is there tonight. sounds like he is going to be talking about warren buffet and his secretary tonight to no surprise. >> that's right, shep. you know it's interesting because the president told reporters today that he was still doing some last minute touch-ups to the speech and pretty good about how it was coming together. the fact of the matter is this speech was largely written almost four months ago in a way when the president first came out. and basically laid out what he called the buffet rule where he said that warren buffet's secretary should not be paying a higher tax rate than the billionaire businessman himself. even though that is the case right now majority of his income comes from investments. taxed at much lower rate than hers. david plouffe the senior advisor to the president today made it clear this will be the focus of tonight's speech. >> we want to reward entrepreneurs and wealth and success. that's what what america is about. how do we close our deficit?
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how do we invest in things we must to. grow the middle class we have to have a tax code that's both more simple but more fair. >> so guess who will be in the box there in the house chamber tonight with first lady michelle obama? we're told about a dozen individuals. several of whom are from battleground states like virginia and north carolina. just coincidentally, perhaps. but also the actual secretary for warren buffet will be up there with mrs. obama tonight just to make that point, shep. >> shepard: as if this were groundhog day republicans are once again calling this class warfare. >> that's right senator mike lee of utah was particularly rough in saying that he thinks this rhetoric is unamerican. take a listen. >> i don't think it's a good idea to pit americans one against another to divide the country with the acerbic rhetoric of class warfare. it's unamerican and it's not helpful. >> look, officials here say that this is not class
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warfare. not aimed at mitt romney paying tax rate of 14%. this is a chance for the president to contrast the different philosophies between the parties, shep. >> shepard: ed henry at the white house tonight. i was at lunch today with the president at the white house. it's an off the record thing so specifics aren't aloud. i can tell you general tone. it felt like one thing that the president was trying to get to tonight was a sense that it's getting better. a sense of optimism. he is hoping the nation will be more optimistic after tonight's speech. with us now is the host of "fox news sunday," chris wallace is with us. in the familiar confines of this lovely city. to get to a point where people on the other side of the political fence will be optimistic, that's a tall order. >> you know, there is an old saying when they say it's not about the money, it's about the money. well, tonight, both sides are saying it's not about politics, it's about politics. this is all the speech about politics and the campaign. john boehner, the speaker of the house had a breakfast with some of us this morning. and he said that this
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president has been in campaign mode since last labor day. and that this speech was written in part by his campaign. he said the president is going to try to portray it as if this is year 1. not year 3. actually, now going into year 4 of this administration. he said he is playing the role of rick vanwinkle that gives you a sense of how much the political battle lines have already been drawn before this speech is even being given. >> shepard: what should we expect from the president tonight? what does he hope to accomplish? i know we talked about a sense of renewal and that things are getting better. how do you get there? >> i think the first thing exactly as you put your point on it is he is going to talk up the country. is he going to say things are getting better. they are getting better in terms of energy production. they are getting better in terms of economic recovery. they are getting better in the sense that the stories that he has been this huge regulator have been overstated. he is then going to turn and offer an agenda. but the interesting thing about the agenda is that it
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really seems like neither side thinks anything is going to get done in washington. in fact, separately, the white house and speaker boehner top and single legislative priority for this year is extending the payroll tax cut. now, that's a good thing. people would like to see it. but with a country with all the problems we have had that's the one legislative priority to extend the payroll tax cut in the other point ed henry made is he is going to draw some battle lines and particularly talk about the idea and he did this starting in his speech in kansas last fall. he is the defender of the middle class, the republicans are protecters of the rich. i mean talk about subtly, not only talking about ed buffet thing and secretary. is he going to have warren buffet's secretary in the box. >> shepard: lot of news drops. newt gingrich last night with his correction connections to freddie mac and now the bain capital stuff and what we learned today more than anything is over two years mitt romney didn't work and made $45 million. then paid 13% or so in taxes.
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i wonder how that plays out in nebraska and the rest of the country? >> well, it's his legal and in fact to a certain degree it's double or even triple taxation when he got the money he had to pay income tax on it. i'm sure at 35% rate. then he invested it. and now he is paying taxes on again the profits of it so, yes now and you are right, some people are going to say this is the poster child for exactly what obama is talking about. unfair tax system where people who earn their money pay less than people who were investing and getting the benefits of that but, remember, this romney first had to pay on what he earned. >> shepard: of course he did. newt gingrich we know made $1.6 million in his dealings with freddie mac. certainly not as a lobbyist but as a his torn. >> now he says he was a consultant. >> shepard: consultant but certainly not a lobbyist. >> he had somebody come in to say what a citizen can do and what a lobbyist could do and he didn't go over the line. of course barack obama made a lot of money too. >> shepard: you did too.
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>> ill understand that i'm not running for president. >> shepard: not yet. >> not ever. >> shepard: thank goodness. i would campaign for you though. you know i would. >> that's another reason i won't run for president. >> shepard: great to see you though. chris wallace every "fox news sunday." this sunday chris will be welcoming the wisconsin republic congressman paul ryan the chairman of the house budget committee. we will have the state of the union here down the dial on big fox online and on fox news radio. has fox on it and state of the union tonight. don't miss the state of the union address 9:00 eastern time in sean hannity's normal spot right here on fnc. one thing we can pretty much guarantee the eventual winner of the republic nomination will be a millionaire. that's because all four candidates are reportedly worth at least seven figures. coming up, we will look at what they have bought with all that cash. from the journalists of fox news at the russell rotunda on capitol hill as we await the state of our union. this is the fox report. when you have tough pain, do you want fast relief?
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>> shepard: as we get a better idea of mitt romney's wealth it's worth pointing out that none of the g.o.p. contenders is hurting for cash. all four remaining candidates are millionaires. some of them many times over. the chief fox report correspondent jonathan hunt is live in our new york city newsroom this evening with how romney's money stacks up against his rivals. hey, jonathan. >> hey, shep. mitt romney's tax returns confirm what we knew already. is he by far the wealthiest of the republic presidential candidates. and among the wealthiest ever to run for the presidency. but his opponents are not exactly struggling financially either. [chanting mitt, mitt, mitt] >> mitt romney's net worth estimated to be close to $250 million buys a lot of property. he spent 12 million on this ocean-front mansion in la jolla, california and also has an estate in new hampshire, officially assessed at 4.3 million. he recently sold his mansion in belmont, massachusetts. and also this home in park
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city, utah, which was listed at just over $5 million. so what about his gingrich. ---chierival newt gingrich. put at about $6.7 million. his property portfolio is a lot more modest. he owns just two properties. main residence in mcclean, virginia bought in 2000 for just under a million and a rental property valued between auto and $100,000. ron paul's net worth is apparently between 2 and 5 million. his texas home of four decades is thought to be on the market for 325,000. and he apparently owns land in texas and a condo in virginia. valued at less than 250,000. rick santorum's net worth is somewhere between 1 and 2 million. he has a home in great falls, virginia that reportedly cost $2 million in 2007. and five rental properties in state college p.a., each worth
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less than 250,000. whichever of those wealthy republics wins the nomination, he will be taking on a wealthy democrat in the shape of president obama who bought his chicago home for 1.65 million and whose personal wealth is put in the range of 3 to 11 million. bottom line, shep, not one of the men running for the presidency could reasonably claim to be financially speaking at least, an average american. shep? >> shepard: not financially speaking for sure. jonathan hunt in new york. john, thanks. south dakota's junior senator fast rising republic star to hear from his colleagues. tomorrow he will reach a new level of power in his party. the senator john thune joins us live to discuss who he is backing in the nomination fight and the rest of this republic contest on the night of the state of the union address. we'll be right back.
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>> shepard: according to the white house, the president will say in tonight's state of the union address that he will work with anyone in congress to build momentum. but he will also note that, quote: i intend to fight obstruction with action and i will oppose any effort to return to the very same policies that brought on this economic crisis in the first place." again, excerpt from the speech tonight from the president. of course, if his republic rivals get their way, president obama will have only a matter of months left in office. according to our count about 10 u.s. lawmakers have endorsed former house speaker newt gingrich and more than 70 have endorsed mitt romney. among mitt romney's supporters is the south dakota senator john thune tomorrow he will become the third ranking republic when he becomes the conference chair. senator thune is with us now in the senate rotunda. congratulations. >> thanks. we are looking forward to it. >> shepard: tonight this is mostly political thing. we heard chris wallace say a
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minute ago it's all politics. what is the politics of the republics will throw after the speech? >> well, we do expect this to be a campaign speech. most these state of the union speeches at least of late have been very much about how flying rhetoric. a lot of grandiose rhetoric but not much when it comes to follow-through. but republicans have said and we say this sincerely we are ready to work with the president. >> shepard: on what matters. >> on energy security. tax reform. regulatory reform. reducing spending. doing something about spending and debt. the president although he says all these nice things in his state of the union speeches very rarely follow through that's the one thing that republicans are going to be paying attention to. is the president sincere and does he really want to work with us to try to solve some of these big problems. >> unbefore the things we are not allowed to talk about the specifics from the luncheon today at the white house, but the theme seemed to be we want people to come out of this night with some optimism. the president says his speech will bring that. will the republic response and the rhetoric which follows propel us toward that or are
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we in a campaign cycle and can you forget it. >> a lot of people assume this is a election year and you are not going to get much done in a political season. that may be true but i hope that we're wrong about that. but i think it's going to require presidential leadership. and we have been looking for the president to lean into some of these big issues. last year the budget that he submitted to the congress wasn't serious. the reason you know it wasn't serious when it was put on the floor of the senate it was defeated by a vote of 97-0. he has not demonstrated a willingness to tackle big problems. he is going to say a lot of good things tonight. is he going to talk about fairness. that's code for class warfare which is code for tax increases, which we don't think is the right approach whether you have got a down economy. like i said, the republicans on the hill are ready to work with this president. if he is willing to lean into some of these big challenges and work with us. that remains to be seen. >> shepard: the g.o.p.'s challenge now, number one, is what? >> well, i think right now it's trying to get people back to work. it's growing and expanding the economy. if you look at any metric since the president came to
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office we have got a lot more people unemployed. we have seen gas prices almost double. health care costs are going up. a number of people on food stamps is up by 40%. >> shepard: blaming the president for gas prices? >> i mean, look, there is no energy policy in this country. we have so many domestic energy resources aren't being developed and the keystone pipeline is a perfect example of, this let's start developing american resources so we don't have to continue to import energy we get from outside the united states. >> shepard: of course, the president says that's a myth and we are producing more oil in this country than we have in two decades. >> we have got -- >> shepard: facts seem to be with that we are exporting for the first time in memory. >> we have. but if you look at where a lot of the energy is on n. this country on federal lands. that part of the energy production has gone down because the administration has closed off so many areas to production. and the keystone pipeline which would create 20,000 shovel-ready jobs and create $7 billion investments like that, he vetoed last week. so, if you are going to come up and say that my number one priority is to create jobs and then you turn down projects that will create 20,000
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shovel-ready jobs, you really see the rhetoric doesn't match with the president's record when it comes to reality. >> shepard: senator, good luck in the new job tomorrow. >> i appreciate that thanks, shep. >> shepard: nice to see you. thank you. tonight is not just about the state of our union it's about the republic response. mitch dants will deliver -- daniels. why governor daniels? we will get to mitt romney's tax returns. we know he makes money. how does his low tax rate compare to past presidential candidates? you may find this interesting. bottom of the hour, top of the news next. is it fast? it's got a lightning bolt on it, doesn't it? ♪ is it fast? i don't even know if it's street-legal. ♪ is it safe? [ male announcer ] the security of a jetta. one of nine volkswagen models named a 2012 iihs top safety pick.
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>> shepard: i'm shepard smith. this is the fox report. it's the bottom of the hour, time for the top of the news. live tonight from capitol hill. millions of americans who work hard and play by the rules every day deserve a government and financial system that does the same. and excerpt from the president's state of the union address scheduled for later tonight. right now the president is -- after the president is finished, the indiana republic governor mitch daniels is scheduled to deliver the g.o.p. response. so why mitch daniels? not too long ago a number of influential conservatives were pushing him to run for president in this election. the governor said he considered doing so but decided against it reportedly poor personal reasons. is he still very popular among many on othe conservative wing of the republic party. his approval rating among the highest in all the nation. and with the u.s. economy still sputtering, analysts say indiana's economy is doing
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better than those of most other states. mike emanuel is here. his familiar post on capitol hill. what do we expect for governor damages to say. >> an aide to governor damages says he will seek to explain why he thinks president obama has been ineffective on growing jobs and growing the economy. we have an excerpt of what governor daniels will say quote, it is not fair and it is not true for the president to attack republicans in congress as on stick -- obstacles on these questions. reduced borrowing, reform entitlements and reduced job creation only to be shot down time and again by the president and his democrat senate allies i'm told governor daniels has written his speech himself and it won't be terribly long, shep? >> shepard: that's good news. the capitol full of republicans particularly in the house of representatives. so why governor daniels? why did they choose him? >> they like his record. he is a second term governor, they say he has gone from deficits to surpluses. they think he has created a good environment for private
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sector job creation. a lot of what this country needs at this point, he is also a former white house budget director so if president obama spends a lot of time going after republicans in congress, it doesn't hit governor daniels, >> shepard: shep mike emanuel outside by the statues, thank you. tonight will mark a first for the reporters who cover the state of the union address from the house chamber. finally reporters will be able to take smart phones and laptops into the press gallery. until tonight the press banned all electronic devices. a press director says he believes the ban traced back to when typewriters made too much noise. according to the new rules, reporters cannot make calls and the devices have to be in silent mode. no vibrate either. got live coverage of the state of the union address tonight on big fox. "fox news sunday" host chris wallace will be here for analysis. it starts 9:00 eastern we are covering it on all of our platforms across the fox news family. the release of g.o.p.
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candidate mitt romney's tax returns doing nothing to silence his critics at least so far. as we reported tonight mitt romney's tax rate is lower than most americans. he says he follows the law and pays his fair share. here is how his tax rate stacks up against some of the past candidates in the years leading up to their respective campaigns. looking only at their 2010 returns. mitt romney and his wife gave 13.9% of the government of the only one paying a lower rate was john kerry. counting his wealthy wife's low tax rate, john kerry paid about 13% in 2003. live team fox coverage james rosen with more on the bitter back and forth between romney and top rival newt gingrich. let's start with jim angle in the d.c. newsroom tonight to break down these numbers. jim, exactly how much money is romney making? >> a bundle, shep. romney's returns from 2010 and estimated 2011 returns show he made more than $21 million in
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2010. almost that much in 2011 on which he paid 6.2 million in taxes over the two years. the romneys also have donated some $7 million to a range of charities, including the mormon church over that period. 16. a% of their income. most of his income is in capital gains which is tacked at the 15% rate. many favor that because it encourages investment and job creation. after reductions romney has made effective tax rate of 13.9% in 2010. 15.4% in 2011. though many critics say that allows him to pay less than ordinary americans. analysts say that's not accurate. >> cbo budget office says the average household pays about 9% in individual income tax so the government is paying quite a bit more than the average american. >> still plenty to chew on here, shep. democrats are vowing to do just that. >> shepard: he had some investment overseas too, jim. there is somewhere a swiss
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bank account. what do we know about that? >> critics point to that swiss bank account which is 2010. investment funds headquartered in the kay men islands cayman islands and elsewhere. today the income was fully taxed under u.s. law even one liberal group conceded if romney paid all the taxes it's just like in connection with in the u.s. former irs commissioner said he found no indication of an effort to avoid taxes with critics saying romney should have released more returns and the president talk about inequality. don't expect this to go away even though almost half of american workers pay no income taxes at all. shep? >> shepard: jim angle in our d.c. newsroom tonight. for his part speaker gingrich has come under fire for his ties to troubled mortgage giant. last night newt gingrich released 2006 contract between his consulting firm and the company freddie mac. after mitt romney accused newt gingrich of lobbying for the lender. the contractor calls for, quote, consulting, unquote.
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never mentions lobbying. you will remember freddie mac took a huge bailout from taxpayers and now newt gingrich is hitting back at mitt romney pointing out that the rival has ties of his own to freddie mac and his sister agency fannie mae. he spoke about that this morning on "fox & friends." >> great irony that we didn't learn until after the debate he owns freddie may and fannie mae sack. i don't own any he does. presumably he was getting richer. >> shepard: of course, it's worth noting the former speaker released freddie mac contract a week before the primary in florida the state the housing crisis hit very hard and whether any ties to freddie mac could turn off voters. james rosen in d.c. tonight. what about newt gingrich's charges that mitt romney owns stock in fanny and freddie. >> campaign aides are saying romney's investments in fannie and freddie are bonds and not stocks part of a mutual trust placed in a blind trust.
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between 10 and $30,000 tops. for speaker gingrich to try to equate 1.6 million payout to freddie mac to commonly held mutual funds that many millions of americans owns says romney's spokeswoman andrea saul is laughable. managed on a blind basis so a trustee not the romneys makes the investment decisions. just a few minutes ago, shep, fox news obtained another of the gingrich freddie mac contracts. i believe the year on this one is 1999. it goes into greater specificity than the other one we received as to what gingrich was expected to do and the group was expected to do for freddie mac listing strategic advice consulting on public policy issues again no issue of lobbying. >> shepard: got heated between the two frontrunners as to whether newt gingrich was effectively working as a lobbyist for freddie mac. not surprising that the contract wouldn't say that right? >> right. it also didn't say he was
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performing as historian which is one of gingrich's other claims. he says he merely provided strategic advice that the troubled mortgage lender largely ignored. in last night's debate romney cited still other gingrich interests. >> if your entities are getting paid by health companies that could benefit from a piece of legislation and you then meet with republic congressman and encourage them to support that legislation, you can call it whatever you would like, i call it influence pedestrian ling. >> let me very clear. i understand your technique you used on mccain and huckabee and you used consistently. it's unfortunate and it's not gonna work very well because the american people see through it i have always publicly favored a stronger medicare program. >> now, one further detail on this 1999 gingrich group-freddie mac contract that fox news has been able to obtain in the last few minutes it actually states in one portion of this contract that nothing contained herein shall be construed to include
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lobbying services by the gingrich group. so, no doubt newt gingrich and his supporters will point to that clause in this newly released contract to buttress their case that the former house speaker never engaged in lobbying activities, shep? >> shepard: james rosen in washington, thanks. president obama's approval ratings are lower than they have been for any of his previous state of the union addresses. we will talk with the white house communications director about what the president needs to do tonight to boost those ratings and re-election chances. that's next as we await the rival of mr. bill owe rile from capitol hill on the night of the state of the union. the droid razr by motorola. the thinnest 4g lte smartphone. all the power and strength of droid, now in colors. built with a scratch-resistant, gorilla glass screen. plus nano-coating that safeguards against spills. all powered by the speed of verizon 4g lte.
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economy that's built to last. long before the white house released bits of the speech. the republic leaders were already up in arms. >> i think you are going to hear that he is, you know, singled out congress to be one of the villains. and all of this is an attempt to direct your attention and the attention of the american people away from his record. >> from his record over the last three years. >> is that what's happening? we will find out more in a little more than an hour. turn to one of the president's men a sneak peek from the white house communications director dan pfeiffer. is that what is he going to do? i didn't do anything, congress did it? >> absolutely not. i would encourage congressional leaders and others to actually watch the speech and comment on it. is he going to talk about it. economy of blueprint built to last. talk about how we create jobs in this country, help the middle class and make sure everyone pays their fair share. work with congress.
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our hope is they will change with past practice and join with us to do what's right for the country. >> talk about a fair share. mitt romney 13.9%. fair share? >> we talked for a long time about a rate like that is a less than the. >> but legal? >> absolutely. the issue is whether people are going to pay their fair share. we talked about a principle called the buffet raoul that millionaires should not pay lower tax rate than middle class. >> that's wrong. if they are working hard and scraping to get by. higher rate. that doesn't make sense. hear more from the president tonight about exactly what the buffet rule would look like and what it means for people to pay their fair share. >> a w 2 employees bunch of loopholes is going to pay 39% in that tax bracket but off investments you don't. should investments be taxed at the same rate income is taxed and if so isn't that double taxation? >> what we are going to talk
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about tonight is a simple principle a minimum tax that ensures that, as i said, the millionaires aren't paying a lower effective tax rate than the middle class. many millionaires are paying more than the middle class. that's the right thing. but whether you have these loopholes and these deductions in the tax code that allow people to pay less than their fair share, that's not right. we are not going to deal with our deficits that way and fund things like education, research and development, the things so critical to helping the middle class to succeed but continue to have a situation where millionaires and billionaires and corporations aren't paying their fair share. the president wants to address that and he is going to talk about it tonight. >> shepard: not to speak about anything from the off the record lunch today with the president, dan, i think it's fair to say that the tone was that he wants people to come away from this speech tonight feeling like a little more optimistic about the future. why should people feel more optimistic based on what they have seen in the past 24 to 36 months? >> look, it's a great country, a great people.
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we have taken some serious blows and we have bounced back. when the president came into office we were losing 700,000 jobs a month. we were on the cusp of a depression. we have now gained more than 3.2 million jobs in recent years. 22 consecutive months of private sector job growth. much more work to do but we are making progress. question keep doing what works. are we going to build on that and doing more. same policies that got us into this mess. you will hear from the president on this tonight. >> dan pfeifer at the white house. good to see you again. >> good to see you shep, thank you. >> shepard: more political coverage tonight less than a year after deadly tornadoes wiped out homes and whole communities in alabama. folks there are picking up the pieces from yet another horrible storm. the cruise ship disaster in italy. new reports now that injured passengers had to wait extra time for life boats because the rich travelers had paid their way to the front of the line. all of that and i have just gotten word from our control room of breaking news out of the state of texas. and an arrest at the home of
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former president bush. it's breaking now and the details are next. we are the house when it comes to the big game. yeah. it's hithing. i don't even participate. boom! here it comes! bring it back! bring it home! [ male announcer ] when you combine creamy velveeta with zesty rotel tomatoes and green chilies, you get a bowl of queso that makes even this get-together better. but proven technologies allow natural gas producers to supply affordable, cleaner energy, while protecting our environment. across america, these technologies protect air - by monitoring air quality and reducing emissions... ...protect water - through conservation and self-contained recycling systems... ... and protect land - by reducing our footprint and respecting wildlife. america's natural gas... domestic, abundant, clean energy to power our lives... that's smarter power today.
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>> shepard: more in just a moment in the president wants state of the union address tonight. a fox urgent and the secret service has stopped a man very near the home of the dallas home of former president george w. bush. the man is said that he had a gun in his car, fox 4 news our local station for dallas and the metroplex reports that the man claimed he was there to pick up a package that the former president told him to come get and that the former president sent that message spiritually. the spokesman for president bush, jr., reports the family was not at the home at the time. the secret service spokesman says that the man had a permit
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for the gun. so they released him. national weather service officials confirm three tornadoes tore through central alabama yesterday. two people dead. at least 100 others hurt. this is the second time in less than a year that twisters have devastated an area near here. today the governor toured jefferson county where both victims died. officials say one was a 16-year-old girl. according to the birmingham news newspaper her family found her 40 feet from their home on her mattress. and the alabama red cross reports the tornadoes tore more than 200 homes and destroyed that many. rescue teams still searching for survivors even now. well, shocking new developments in the deadly cruise ship disaster off the coast of italy. now we're hearing wealthy passengers bribed their way on to life boats ahead of all the others, including children and injured passengers. that's according to london's sun newspaper which happens to be owned by the parent company of this network. the sun is reporting that rich
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russian tourists gave the crew members what it calls fists full of cash in exchange for a seat to safety. and that one witness told prosecutors disabled passengers were were, quote, left to defend for themselves. our news organization reached out to the company to confirm the report. no response at last check. meantime crews found another body today. reportedly that of a woman. at least 16 people confirmed dead. another 17 officially listed as missing. among them two americans. workers reportedly plan to start pumping a half million gallons of fuel from that ship. big changes for airlines and passengers starting this week. new federal regulations are kicking in on things like fares and regulations. now airlines must include everything in the advertised price. everything including taxes and fuel sur charges and every other fee which can add hundreds of dollars to advertised fares. also passengers will be able to hold a reservation for 24 hours without a cancellation
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fee. 24 hours to cancel. one without penalty. as long as it's made a week or more ahead of that flight. well, a solar storm is on. a so-called space hurricane has taken place high above our heads right now. experts say this solar storm shoots out giant streams of electromagnetic particles from the sun. we are told there is no need to panic even though the radiation could interrupt the phone signals. delta airlines is taking precautions by re-routing high altitude flights. coming up, breaking news about country singer garth brooks. moments ago a jury handed him a very big victory. school scienr made me what i am today. r science teacher helped us build it. ♪ now i'm a geologist at chevron, and i get to help science teachers. it has four servo motors and a wireless microcontroller. over the last three y we've put nearly 100 million dollars into american education.
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[ snoring ] [ male announcer ] vicks nyquil cold and flu. the nighttime sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, fever, best sleep you ever got with a cold...medicine. ♪ you know, typical alarm clock. i am so glad to get rid of it. just to be able to wake up in the morning on your own. that's a big accomplishment to me. i don't know how much money i need. but i know that whatever i have that's what i'm going to live within. ♪ ♪ >> shepard: here a big one for you, an oklahoma jury has just ruled in favor of country music super star garth brooks ordering a hospital there to return his half-million-dollar donation and do it now. you will recall garth brooks sued because the hospital officials did not name a building after his now late
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mother. those executives say his gift was unconditional. among the jury members were several people who said they are indeed garth brooks music fans but they still vowed they would make a fair ruling. updating some of fox top stories tonight, tens of millions of people expected to tune into to hear the president to give our state of the union address tonight. among other things he is expected to push a proposal to increase taxes on the ultra wealthy. it comes after the republic candidate mitt romney finally released his tax returns. critics say his 13.9% tax rate is an example of how the tax code helped the wealthy avoid paying their fair share. and mitt romney's rival newt gingrich rising in the polls, even as he fends off attacks over his work for the mortgage giant freddie mac. the former house speaker targeting president obama ahead of tonight's speech saying it's time for him to stop blaming the bush administration for the nation's economic problems. and on this day in 1943, then
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president franklin roosevelt departed morocco after what we now know is one of the most important allied strategy meetings in all of world war ii. they called it at the time the casablanca conference. and on that trip there were a number of firsts. on the way to morocco fdr became the first sitting president to ever fly on a plane. and the first ever to leave the united states in a time of war. it was also the first time a sitting president had ever been to africa. at that conference, president roosevelt and the british prime minister winston churchill hammered out a plan that ultimately ended the war. two and a half years later, germany surrendered and the president had a blueprint for victory 69 years ago today. and now you know the news for this tuesday, january the 24th, 2012. i'm shepard smith on capitol hill. we're back tomorrow for "studio b" and tomorrow night for "the fox
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